Tag Archive: supernatural



Since I am interested in the paranormal and write in the paranormal genre, I thought I’d share the books and movies that have had the most influence on my beliefs and my writing. Why? Because sharing the things that have influenced me in this field might be of interest to others who are curious-about or are interested-in paranormal subject matter. More and more people are becoming fascinated with this mysterious supernatural element of our lives. And why not? Someday we will be a paranormal entity ourselves when we transition over to “the other side” of life. Since it’s a place (more like a state-of-being) we are all headed, I figure the interest is quite warranted!
Now, those of you who have read my blogs know that I used to live in a haunted house. I moved into it when I was seven and moved out of it when I was fourteen. Although quite a bit of paranormal activity occurred in the house, other things have happened throughout my life to convince me that there really, truly, without doubt IS a life for us after physical death. So, obviously one of my earliest influences was the haunted house experience. Apart from reading any and all non-fiction books I could get my hands on (Linda Goodman‘s books and anything dealing with Edgar Cayce being two of my favorite), I’ve also been influenced by FICTION books and movies. Now, the thing about fiction is…the stories had to come from somewhere, right? Sure, sure…the imagination but what influences that? Where do those ideas actually come from? A connection to the spiritual world maybe? There is truth in fiction and fiction in truth. So with that, I’ll get on with it.

My first exposure to the paranormal was probably the soap opera Dark Shadows. I was pretty young at the time but I remember it well enough. At least, I remember that although I didn’t always understand the adult nuances of the show, I understood the spooky stuff well enough to be scared (yet fascinated enough that I couldn’t NOT watch it!). An interesting aside here…Dark Shadows is purported to have been influenced by my hometown! Truly! I lived in Bucksport until the age of seven (when we moved into that haunted house in the next town over) and Bucksport is the influence for Collinsport (the fictional town in Dark Shadows…in fact, Bucksport was often mentioned in the soap!). Why? Probably, because its town founder, Jonathan Buck, was supposedly cursed by a witch he was rumored to have put to death! In fact, this legend influenced my writing Hidden Voices which was published in paperback on the 23rd of August 2012 and in ebook today (24 August 2012)! Bucksport has a few other spooky mysteries as well and I’m hoping to explore those a bit more with my Tess Scafer-Medium book series!

One of the first books I can remember reading that truly started influencing my beliefs was The Amityville Horror. I read the book and saw the movie and both of them scared me to freakin death! I think what really added the scare element was the fact it was supposed to be based on a true story. The part where the little kid sees red eyes in the window truly got to me because my family and I experienced a similar event in our haunted old house! (see Living With Ghosts Part II for the “red eyes” story). Now I have to tell ya, I think a lot of the stuff depicted in the book was a little far-fetched and the movie even more so, but I’ve no doubt that SOME of those paranormal instances occurred and it’s those parts that scared the crap out of me! It didn’t matter that I didn’t know which elements to believe or not, the fact is…SOME of that scary crap might have happened and that was enough.

Another book that had a lot of influence over me was The Shining by Stephen King. Now, I grew up in Maine about a half hour’s drive from where Stephen King lived and because he is the King of Horror and Maine’s most known celebrity, I was naturally interested in anything the man wrote. But The Shining really grabbed my attention and activated my imagination on many levels. I mean, really. Here’s a book about a haunted hotel (hmmm…sort of like the haunted resort in my first book Be Still, My Love!) and lots of scary, ghostly crap happened there (just like in that haunted house I lived in!). Now, the horror part of it…you know where Jack goes berserk and tries to kill his family…that sort of stuff I don’t like. Horror, per se, does not interest me. I can’t handle all the blood and gore. I am attracted to spooky, scary…and that’s IT. Despite that, I couldn’t put the book down and I honestly felt sometimes that reading the darned thing was attracting spirits to me!  And speaking of that…I think the more we think about this stuff, the more it DOES attract otherworldly occurrences! So, if you get a chill while reading this or suddenly feel someone standing behind you…well, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Another book that really got me going was Audry Rose (it was also made into a movie and actually stayed pretty true to the book). Man oh man! Suddenly I’m thinking about reincarnation and wondering how that fits into our lives and then I’m having weird dreams that seem too real to be dreams. After reading that book, I started wondering if I was actually dreaming about my past lives! Seriously, Audrey Rose totally influenced my writing No Matter What about a little girl (Clara) killed for witchcraft and whose spirit becomes trapped in our world. To save her lost soul, her spirit is reincarnated into another little girl who ends up moving into the house and befriending her (synchronicity of the universe at work on that one!). Compounding Clara’s problem (and her fears) is the fact that those who killed her have reincarnated as well! One way or another they all become mixed up with each other. I totally found the whole evolution of that book fascinating…how all the characters’ present lives were affected by their past lives and what they needed to do to get over it. That book will be out in October and I can’t wait to share it with you!

When The Entity came out, I was just starting my military career. I went to see the movie while attending technical training school (in Colorado which is where I’d wanted to go ever since seeing The Shining!) and it fired up all the stuff I’d been interested in and experimented with before entering the military.

Busy and fully engaged as I was with my military life, I had to let my paranormal interests drift off to the wayside for awhile. The never-ending itch to write, however, was strong within me and I continued to start story after story (never finishing a darned thing!). Then I saw the movie “The Changling“. Wow. That one really got me going! Talk about a spooky, haunted old house and scary crap happening! That one made me think about Automatic Writing (which was done in the movie) and I even dabbled with it for awhile with great success mind you. Really, if you like a good ghostly movie, this one is pretty good and should fit the bill.

Of course it goes without saying that Poltergeist fired up my imagination. I thought the movie was pretty good until it got crazy…you know, with the creature thing coming out of the closet and all that. What really worked in that movie was the creepy stuff that happened before all the horror crap took over. Honestly, what is creepier than a jester doll sitting in a chair staring at you, then suddenly its NOT in the chair anymore! Nothing used to scare me more than thinking something was under my bed! Seriously, I just got the willies thinking about it.

When The Sixth Sense came out, I really got fired up (again). By some odd coincidence (which I believe is actually the universe working in synchronistic brilliance), my old notebook that contained the No Matter What story (begun when I was 17) was laying on my bed when I came home from work one afternoon (it was around the same time I saw this movie so I was primed to write again). I took it as a sign that I needed to finish that story and a dear friend of mine at the time, Teresa, totally encouraged me to do it. I bounced my ideas off her and she was so enthusiastic and supportive of the story that I kept going with it. She died while I was pitching it around to various literary agents. Breast cancer is a real bitch. Now, thanks to the advent of the glorious ereader, I’m going to publish the book myself and dedicate it to my dear friend now residing in spirit. What I totally loved about The Sixth Sense was the fact it was a great ghost story! No one died (other than all the spirits haunting that poor kid of course) and it didn’t get crazy toward the end either. In fact, the ending blew me away and I had to go back to watch it again. You know…I went to see that movie with Teresa and it scared the crap out of her. I think my arm took a few days to recover from all the clutching she did! (smile) Gosh I miss her.

Another movie that got me thinking was Defending Your Life and even though this isn’t a ghost story and it isn’t creepy, spooky in any way, it deals with the afterlife and I found it interesting. Certainly I think this movie has influenced my thinking on what might happen after we experience physical death. Another movie along these lines is What Dreams May Come. That one, too, deals with life after death and reincarnation. I was quite intrigued with that movie. And since I’m on this particular kick, Only You, oddly enough, got me to thinking about just how important coincidences are! In that story a girl named Faith is playing around on the Ouija board with her brother and she asks it who she’s destined to marry. Her brother, bored with the game, manipulates the planchette to spell out Damon Bradley. Not long after that, she goes to see a psychic and asks the same question … who is her soul mate? Now, her brother, not wanting to waste time dealing with silly psychics, pays the woman to give his sister the same name he gave her on the Ouija board. Convinced now that she must marry a man named Damon Bradley, Faith waits for him to show up in her life. A few years later, she gives up on this dream and settles for someone else. But, on the eve of her wedding, a man calls to leave a message for her fiance and his name is none other than Damon Bradley! She sets off to find him (in Italy which is where I was living when I saw the movie!) and so the story goes. The fact is…the name was made up and yet it is Damon Bradley who helps her find her soul mate. This movie really made me think about how all things affect each other. And I can’t not mention Frequency when discussing fate! This is a great movie. A son contacts his dead father on an old ham radio by connecting to him from 30 years earlier and ends up changing his entire life! That movie truly is a powerful story in my humble opinion. I marvel at the person who thought it up (or perhaps channeled it from spirit?).

I was editing No Matter What (again) when I watched The Others and that movie just helped me focus more on my own story. Why? Because it so intrigued me I wanted to write a story that would do the same thing…intrigue people! I just knew I was on the right track with my book after watching that movie. Also, I looked into the Spiritualist church right after seeing it and so I guess you could say it had a pretty strong impact on my life by pointing me in that direction. The movie got me to thinking about that stuff (ghosts, life after death) and when talking to someone about it (I was running a campground at the time and was chatting with a camper), she told me I should check out the Spiritualist church in Augusta (Maine’s capitol and not far from where I live!). I did so, had my grandmother come through (they do readings from spirit during the last portion of their service) and she told me to get going on my book. So I did!

Of course many other books and movies have added to my paranormal influence, but these are the ones that stick out the most. What about you? What books or movies have you read/watched that influence your thoughts on the paranormal? I’m always up for a good spooky read or a good scare-your-socks off movie!

Until next time, blessings to all and Peace Out!


Every town has a history – the story of its evolution. Some even have their own legends, mysteries and oddities. My old hometown sure does! I grew up in and around Bucksport, Maine, and among its mysteries is a supposed witch’s curse placed on town founder Jonathan Buck. His memorial stone (pictured on left), erected close to his grave site (where you see the two gravestone tablets behind and to the left of the monument) even bears the markings of this curse!  Adorning that monument is the unmistakable outline of a leg (right under the Buck name) and a heart (near the top, laying on its side). Now, it could certainly be coincidental that they look like a leg and heart but here’s the thing…I don’t believe in coincidence. Yes, I know, just because I don’t believe in it doesn’t mean it is so but here’s another thing…life is to us whatever it is we believe. My belief on anything that falls in the “coincidence” category is that something very remarkable pertains to it! The universe works in perfect synchronization with everything that happens within it, and a coincidence is actually a sign that something very special has occurred or is occurring! Coincidences are occasions that are often considered amazing, odd, strange, unusual and bizarre. When you recognize a coincidental moment, it’s your soul giving you a sign and that sign is saying…”PAY ATTENTION, this is important!!”

Our beliefs determine everything about our lives. It’s true. If you BELIEVE a symbol is evil…guess what? It’s evil! If you believe a symbol is of a divine nature (attached to God) then it is! If you believe something is lucky or unlucky…then it is those things! Now, there are some beliefs that are shared by many, some by a few and some might not even be shared at all, so who is right? Does the majority rule when it comes to beliefs? I don’t see any logic in that. Point in case: SOME believed the world was round. MANY believed it was flat. Who turned out to be right? SOME believed we’d land on the moon some day, MANY believed it impossible. Who was right? You know, until something is invented, not many believed it could ever exist. And many others didn’t give it any thought at all! Creation begins in the mind and THEN it becomes a reality … but only when the people thinking it, BELIEVE it! Honestly, if you are thinking of something you wish would happen or come into being but also BELIEVE that it’s NOT possible, well then it’s not possible. How can it be otherwise? It’s only in WORKING TOWARD bringing your wish or desire into being (which means you do believe it’s possible) that it can, in fact, come into being!

Now, there’s a difference between believing and knowing. KNOWING something means that it has factual proof, that it is an accepted norm, and more than likely not in dispute. Whenever something is in dispute, then it’s not accepted as fact, is not considered an accepted norm and belief comes into play. It seems to me that the most important things in life all fall into the realm of beliefs. God, religion, the afterlife, reincarnation, abortion, gay rights, occult practices, political thought and so on and so forth … they ALL pertain to BELIEF! Every one of those things are constantly in dispute!

Now, everyone agrees that a penny is a penny. No one disputes that fact. But some people believe that if they find a penny on the ground, it then has some luck attached to it. Since it isn’t an accepted norm that lost-pennies-found are lucky, it is nothing more than a belief. Who is right? BOTH! What you BELIEVE becomes your reality.

So, going on this “belief” of mine that things mean whatever we believe them to mean…I can’t help but wonder what sort of meaning we can attach to the undisputed images on a stone monument? The thing about the Buck memorial stone is that no one knows for sure WHY the stains are there and why they look like they do. Sure, sure, it can be a coincidence that they look like a heart and the bottom part of a leg but we just talked about coincidences and what that means! Seriously, belief comes into play here and now we have something that can be whatever we choose to believe!

So, we have this stone with a couple images on it  and rumor says those images are there because the person to whom the monument is dedicated was cursed by a witch. Notice I said RUMOR. That’s because the story is not supported by any factual (undisputed) data. For those who haven’t made up their minds whether to be believe the story or not, it is nothing more than a rumor. So let’s define that. A rumor is something people don’t KNOW to be true or not. Until you decide to BELIEVE it or not, it remains a rumor (because the rumor can’t be substantiated, it can only remain a rumor or become a belief). Once you make a decision … to accept the rumor as true or not … then it is no longer a rumor to you. It now becomes a part of your belief system!

Although the RUMOR concerning these images is that Buck had a woman put to death for practicing witchcraft, there is nothing on record to support the claim. Also, the rumors say that the stone was replaced three times and the image reappeared every time. The rumors further claim that many other steps were taken to remove the images but again, they kept reappearing. These claims (stories) are not supported by any factual data. Thus, these are unsubstantiated rumors and you are left to decide what to believe or not believe. Whichever way you decide, does that make it the actual truth? No. And yes. It’s true to the person accepting the rumor and it isn’t true to anyone who rejects it. So, it’s both.

Now, in my story Hidden Voices (the sequel to Be Still, My Love), my character Tess Schafer (a medium) decides to investigate this supernatural mystery. I thought it would be cool to make up a story involving an unsubstantiated rumor with supernatural overtones. Tess understands that all things exist for a reason…a purpose. The purpose and reason depend on the persons affected by the existence in question. Still with me here? Tess decides that the foot image is symbolic of taking a step (making a decision) to move in a specific direction. She has now attached a BELIEF to the image. Her belief charges it to be just that to her. Anyone else accepting that belief will now be affected by the image in that way.

Tess also decides that the heart is there as a symbol for giving hope to those looking for true love and happiness (even if their hearts have been broken as hers and Kade’s…another character in the story…have been). The heart image is laying on its side and is somewhat stretched out. Tess decides this is to show that even broken hearts can be healed. All it takes is a step in the right direction (believing it possible!) for love and happiness to come!

I rather like this new belief!! The rumor concerning those images cannot be substantiated and they are not sprung from anything factual. So, that means the images are up for grabs in the belief department. Fact is, they exist and now we have a purpose for their existence!

The man for whom the monument was erected, Jonathan Buck, was a good man, a respected historical figure. He fought for his country, his people and his family. Dedication like that takes HEART! Though he’s been knocked around a bit by that silly witch rumor, his heart is solid. And so it will be for anyone else who gazes upon it and wishes for love and happiness! The foot image is there as a symbolic reminder that if you are looking for love, happiness or even hope, then all you have to do is take positive step forward (believe!!) and those things will come to you!

So there…I’ve just redefined a supernatural legend. What you believe concerning it is up to you. The thing is, now the suggestion has been made to the universe, well…the universe will go along with it…for all those who believe! That’s how it works. Belief drives our entire existence. So, if you are ever in Bucksport and you decide to visit that stone, stand before it and wish for whatever it is you are hoping for. If you believe and go forward with that belief in your heart, then by gosh by golly, I BELIEVE it will happen!

Pretty cool to write a fictional story and come up with a whole new belief isn’t it? That’s the Creative Force at work…and what drives creation? God! Yeah, I thought I’d bring out the heavy hitter on that one.

So what do you think? Do you believe it’s possible to assign a reason (belief) to things? What exactly do you think a belief is? I’d love to hear your views on it.

Does your hometown have any mysteries or legends attached to it? Want to share them with us? Please?

So, that’s it! And since this is my blog and I have a book coming out this Friday (August 24, 2012)…Hidden Voices!…then I thought I’d throw a plug in for good measure. If you are intrigued by spirit contact, the afterlife, ghosts, hauntings, the paranormal, the supernatural and anything else of that nature…then you might find this story rather interesting. At least…I hope so! I did make a wish on that monument while I was there recently so we’ll see how well it works. I’ll keep you posted.

Until next time, blessings to you and peace out.


Last year I started this blog and since my interests (among many!) are attracted to anything dealing with the paranormal/supernatural and the books I write also include such subject matter, it was only natural that I would blog about that stuff too.  I became interested in matters of the “unknown” and “mysterious” when me and my family moved into a haunted old farm house back when I was seven years old.  I’ve always said I would write a book about our experiences there but, interesting though various events were, I’m not sure I could keep the page-gripping momentum going through an entire book.  I mean…there’s no final big show down or climatic end…we simply moved out.  We had had enough.  I do, however, have a great “novel” idea for a future book which will be loosely based on our experience there.  One of these days I’ll actually get down to writing “The Haunted Farm House” (or whatever I end up calling it) but that book will be a work of fiction and I would love to share what REALLY happened.  What better way to do that than a blog series!

Now, all my earliest blog posts were about my experiences in that house but I sort of crammed them all together as it seemed once the dam broke on my reminiscences, I wanted to get it all out there quickly.  So instead of reposting those, I’m going to rehash all the same stories again, minus the eager blog-post-overload I engaged in before!  This way, I can really convey what it is we experienced and maybe explore my own thoughts on it a little more … now that I know what I know!

For this post, I want to give a little history about the house, what I remember of it (I was 7 when we moved in and I was 14 when we moved out).  Despite the many years that have past, my memories are still pretty vivid and I continue to dream about that place to this day … thirty plus years later!  A homestead has been on the property since settlers began arriving in the area back in the 1760s.  The place used to be a farm (thus we dubbed our home “the farmhouse”) and many tragic events happened there.  Barns were struck by lightening at least twice that I know of and many animals were killed.  Although many adults died on the property (remember, it’s been settled a long time!), several children died there as well (I can’t tell you how it was they died but I do know that one of them drowned in a well which was filled in afterwards, thank God!).  We even uncovered a story about one of the house’s inhabitants being tarred and feathered by the town!

So, how do we know about some of the folks who died on our property or in our home?  Because they are buried in a tomb a couple hundred yards behind the house.  The inscriptions of eleven people are engraved in the granite stone facings of the tomb’s front wall (the rest of the tomb was buried in a mound of dirt long since overgrown with grass and brush).  A small rusted metal door about three feet high and two feet wide was it’s access point.  When curiosity led us to that tomb, I remember the door was slightly ajar.  A few years later (I was about 12 I think), I would actually have the nerve (or stupidity) to enter it!  My mother tells me that TWELVE people were actually laid to rest in that tomb.  She did a lot of research on the property when we finally accepted that it was haunted and sadly, all those research papers were given to a friend who then lost them! No matter, what happened in that house prior to our living there was not as much a concern to us as what happened after we moved in!  Though I suppose past events certainly affected future ones!  For one thing, there has to be a reason why all those spirits chose to hang around in our dimension rather than moving on in their spiritual journey.  When I say “all those spirits” I have to explain here that we figured somewhere along the line that four spirits shared our home with us.  One of them was not a good one.  I think if you are a bad person in physical life, you aren’t going to suddenly become good in the afterlife.  Probably this is why that particular spirit hangs out in our dimension (sometimes called “plane” in other writings on this subject).  I mean, what’s his alternative?  Hell?

The house was two stories high.  The first floor mainly consisted of the living room (where the oil stove was located and the only source of heat for the entire house!) and the kitchen.  Both rooms were spacious and nearly the same size.  A huge cast iron stove pretty much dominated the kitchen.  It was fueled by oil on one side (it was my job to fill the oil can…a chore that meant a trip down a long creepy spider infested corridor in the old barn) and propane gas on the other side.  The stove top on the oil burning side was smooth and flat, almost like a griddle.  It took quite a while to heat up so we mostly used it as a source of heat for the kitchen.  We also used this side to slowly boil down sap for maple syrup.  It was perfect for that job!  The propane side was used for most all the cooking.  The oven was a learning experience to cook in as it was hard to regulate the heat.  But as I loved to cook and my mother was okay with my kitchen experimentations, I did learn how to use it!  I remember the door to that oven was heavy cast iron and in later years it would play a part in an accident involving BOTH my parents!  A small pantry was off the kitchen and this is where the old cast iron sink covered in worn porcelain was located.  It had a faucet you had to pump to get water!  In today’s day and age, that would be considered rather “novel” but we found it out-dated and my father was quick to replace it!  I know that one of the more recent of the past residents (prior to our moving in) had died in the pantry.  This room more than any of the others always creeped me out the most, probably because I had to go in there so much.  I HATED that room and unfortunately, this is where the dishes needed to be washed (also my chore) and where all the food and dishes were stored.  The refrigerator was in there as well.  My little dog Tippy didn’t like to go in the pantry and so I couldn’t use him as a “deflector” for the spirits while I was in there.  I usually had to bribe one of my siblings (I have three brothers and a sister all younger than me) to come in there with me as I felt safer when I wasn’t alone.  I needed them to watch my back for I always felt like someone was in there with me, standing at my back, breathing on my neck.  It sent chills down my spine (that really happens!) and it seemed my flesh was always crawling with discomfort.

The one bathroom was off the kitchen (sharing a wall with the pantry).  It didn’t have any lighting and I hated it.  Of course my parents put a lamp in there but the light did nothing to dispel the creep factor.  Who knows what that room was before it was converted (before indoor plumbing, there was an outhouse).  Another room, which eventually became my bedroom when I got older, was also off the kitchen … you actually had to enter this room to get to the bathroom.  Another doorway to this room connected to the front hallway and directly across that was another entry to the living room.  So basically you could run circles through all the rooms on the first floor.  No doors were on any of these entrances and that was probably to allow heat to circulate throughout.  Next to the doorway between the kitchen and living room were two other doors.  Coming from the living room, the one on the left went out to the barn and the one straight ahead went down to the cellar.  Though the five of us kids played in the barn all the time (it was chock full of old antiques!), we were terrified of the cellar.  Since the door wouldn’t stay closed, my parents used to keep a butter knife stuck in the door frame to keep it from opening.  The cellar had a dirt floor, it was damp down there and cold…always cold, no matter the season.  It also had a room built down there…near the center…that looked like a tomb.  In fact, we called it the “tomb room”.  It had an arched ceiling and was constructed entirely of bricks.  We later found out that bodies were sometimes kept in this room until they could be transported to the tomb or buried!

The stairway to the second floor was off the kitchen and above the cellar staircase.  Since it was an enclosed staircase, it had a door down in the kitchen and in the winter we closed off the upstairs and the seven of us all crowded downstairs to stay warm.  I have to admit here that I loved the winters in that house the most!  It seemed that paranormal activity was not so busy in the winter and the house was actually warm!  Maybe the spirits didn’t bother us so much because we were all together and happy and that somehow helped to ward off their activity.  Who knows?

On the second floor were four rooms.  Straight ahead of the stairs was my parents’ room.  There was a “window” in the wall in my parents’ room to what we dubbed “the dark room”.  We always found it peculiar that someone would put a window (no glass, however, just a gaping black hole) between two rooms.  To the left of the stairs was an open room which was where my brothers slept.  My sister and I had the bedroom at the end of their room.  The doorway to the dark room was in my brothers’ room and I will tell you that the five of us kids were quite scared of it.  It was dark in there because there was no outside window (my mother hung a picture over the hole so no light could enter from their room either).  A light fixture hung from the ceiling (right next to it was the access door to the crawl space under the roof) but we never kept a light in there because my parents used the room to store some of the old furniture left in the house that we had no plans to use.  It was the ultimate dare for us kids to go in that room.  Needless to say, most of us didn’t take up the challenge and if we did, it wasn’t for long.  My mother hung a curtain over the doorway and the thing moved often.  I tell you, that room had some negative vibes attached to it.  In my mother’s research, we learned that a handicapped child was kept in there!  Back in the day, people with disabilities were kept hidden from public view.  Thank God we don’t do that anymore!!

The upstairs was usually cool in temperature no matter the weather but I feel that most of the spirits hung out in my parents’ bedroom more so than the other two.  At least for me, that’s where I experienced the most paranormal activity on the second floor.  On either side of the stairwell were cubby holes that actually were crawl spaces between the bedroom walls and the roof.  My parents used these crawl spaces for storage but us kids did play in there on occasion.  Though we did get creeped out over time and stopped going in there.  It could have been our over-active imaginations but then again, we were just small kids and ghosts were unknown entities to us.  When we were in those cubby holes and feeling like someone else was in there with us, we beat a hasty retreat, scared though we didn’t know why.  We just KNEW something wasn’t right.  The feeling wasn’t always there, however, in the beginning.  Maybe over time our continued use of the cubby holes attracted their attention or maybe they became so attached to us they followed us everywhere and so it felt more and more uncomfortable as time went on.

So that’s the complete layout of the house.  As for the location, it was built slightly back from the road on a level area midway up a hill (we had no nearby neighbors as this was farm country).  Below us was the Orland River (an often used route for Native American Indians which peppered the entire Orland region at one time!).  The Orland River ran past our property to Alamoosook Lake and it was here (on the surrounding shores of the lake and the banks of the river) that several Indian burial grounds were located.  At one time the Red Paint Indians inhabited the area.  They were a mysterious tribe that disappeared several thousand years ago.  They were called the Red Paint Indians (later called the Maritime Archaic) because their burial sites were filled with red ocher (a bi-product of hematite).  I can’t help but wonder if that house was located near another Indian burial site not yet discovered?  Pure conjecture on my part, but it is possible.  But anyway … a large field surrounded our house (our landlord “hayed” it during the late summer) and then the land rose sharply and became heavily wooded.  Across the street from our house was a pasture where our landlord kept a few horses, a couple cows and a mean ole bull (at least for a couple of the years that we lived there).  In the winter the animals were taken away and we loved to go over there and slide down the hill on our sleds.  I can say that the pasture was free of spirits and that is probably why we loved playing over there so much.

I do believe that some areas are conducive to paranormal activity.  I’ve since learned that there are “ley lines” networking across the earth and at certain connection points, these ley lines are believed by some to create a sort of “portal” to the other side.  I truly believe that the area where our farmhouse was located (it has since been torn down and no trace of it remains) is a “hot” spot for supernatural activity.  Even now, when we pass by there, I get the creeps.  My skin crawls and I know they are still there.  It doesn’t matter that the house is gone.  They are not.  And they continue to plague my dreams.

So, that’s it for this post.  I wanted to introduce our infamous old house first and then concentrate on particular paranormal events that happened there in future posts.  The picture I’ve included was taken during a nighttime visit there a few years back (a couple years before it was tore down).  My brother was big into “ghost hunting” at the time and he convinced me to go with him to the farmhouse.  I don’t know how he managed to talk me into it.  I truly believe something bad hangs out there and I was really worried about it following me home!  The two windows on the second floor is where my old bedroom was located (the small window below went to the pantry).  You can see the orb clear as day.  Now, I know there’s a lot of controversy about orbs but my gut tells me some of them really are spiritual energy centers … and that’s what spirits are in the most simplest terms…we are all beings of energy!  Certainly a lot of so-called orbs captured on film are specks of dirt, bugs, moisture drops, etc.  But not all of them.  This orb…it’s one of THEM.  I KNOW it.  They wanted me to know they were still there.  And they knew who we were.  I felt that with as much certainly as I felt the goosebumps on my arms and the standing hairs on my neck.

I saw the orb in the review screen on my camera and hightailed it for the car.  I yelled for my brother to “Come on let’s get out of here, we need to leave NOW!” and he of course took his sweet time.  Before getting into the car he stopped to take a picture of it.  My mother and husband were waiting inside with me.  My brother looked at the review screen on his camera and hurried (finally!) to show us what he had captured.  The car was surrounded by orbs.  Unfortunately, the computer those pictures were downloaded to crashed on us and all the pictures were lost.  Bummer that.  I tell you, I FELT them.  And though I’m not so scared of spirits as I was when I was a kid, I still am afraid of THEM.  Or at least I am of one of them.  Needless to say, I did a lot of protection prayers as we sped away!

Okay, NOW I’m done!  In my next post, I’ll explain a particularly scary event that changed everything for me … turning our home from a fun place to live (the yard was our oyster!) to a chilling place of fear.  Until next time…blessings to all and Peace Out!


I love talking about anything to do with the supernatural/paranormal.  As a writer of stories involving such phenomena, I particularly love talking to other writers of the same ilk.  To bring elements of the paranormal/supernatural into our writing, we must have a concept, some sort of idea, of what those elements are.  Personal experiences (if any), how we think, feel and believe all have an impact on the stories we create.  Given that, I am always curious to know the motivation behind writers of supernatural/paranormal fiction.  Jeff Bennington has several awesome books out that include these elements and I’m excited that he’s agreed to “guest” on my blog and chat about it!

Once Jeff agreed to an interview, I fired off a bunch of questions.  Though I gave him the option to pick and choose, he replied with “I don’t think there’s a single one I didn’t want to answer. I’ve never really considered many of your questions, so this was really a self-examination of sorts. Perhaps knowing that will make this interview a bit more interesting to your readers.”  I think you’ll agree that we did indeed get an interesting interview!  With so much to “chat” about, this post was done in TWO parts.  Part II will be published on Monday (April 30th).  Be sure to come back, for there’s lots more great stuff to share!!

So without further ado (my questions to Jeff are in bold print, any replies I made to his answers are in italics):

It is my understanding that you’ve had some paranormal experiences. Would you like to continue experiencing them?

I have had three distinct experiences over the course of my life, including one that is recurring. I didn’t seek out the spirits that I’ve encountered, although I have to be honest, I always wished I could experience something supernatural for my own knowledge. Maybe that’s what has made me open, and thereby receptive to what’s out there. But would I like to continue experiencing them? Not necessarily. Once you experience something beyond your existence, you are forced to reckon with the fact that there is more to life than what we see. Although I’ve always believed in the possibility that ghosts exist, actually experiencing this for myself was the real deal, a true gift. Yet I realized that if ghosts exist, than other entities exist as well, like angels, demons, and who knows what else. For that very reason, I’m not really that interested in diving into the occult or the dead or anything dark that could enter my home or intrude upon my family. I don’t want to give anything evil a foothold.

Do you think they (ghosts) can be helped? Do you believe they NEED help?

I’m not sure. That isn’t anything I experienced. Is it possible? Sure? Can I help a ghost? I don’t know, maybe. I’m not sure I’d really know if I helped a ghost or something else. What may seem like freeing a ghost, may release it from one location only to send it into another realm, and I’m not referring to the “light”. But then again, I have never tried to help a ghost, so I am only throwing out random thoughts.

I can understand your reservations concerning the spirit world.  My own experience has taught me that there’s a difference between a ghost and other supernatural entities and so I believe you’d know which one you were dealing with. I’ve never given it any consideration that we might have the power to banish ghosts into other realms other than the “light”.  I hope that isn’t the case!  It really makes me wonder, though, if our actions could do so with other supernatural entities … sending them somewhere we really did not want or intend for them to go. It’s an interesting thought. I can almost feel a story forming! (smile)

Have you ever tried to contact a spirit? Do you think it would be neat to do so?

I have not. Would it be neat to talk to a spirit? Maybe. But I would never really know for sure if it was a spirit of a dead soul or something malevolent deceiving me. So again, dabbling may not be in the cards for me. I’ve heard too many stories about evil entities that have come out of Ouija boards.

I have had some experience with the Ouija board actually. It’s not a game, that’s for sure. I think it’s a pretty powerful tool for opening a doorway between our world and the spirit world. Done right, though…handling it properly, it can offer some pretty interesting interactions with spirits who have passed from this life to the next (because it can also create interaction with other entities…demons and what not, I think people should know what they are doing before using the Ouija).

When writing your stories, do you ever get a little spooked?

Ha ha! That’s funny. Good question. But no, I don’t really get spooked when I write. I might get a chill down my spine, but not because I’m scared. The chill is from an outpouring of emotion. When I write, I have a pretty good idea where the story is going so there aren’t really many surprises for me, unless I have an “Ah hah moment”. The reason for this is simple: I get to view the book on both a micro and macro scale. I see the bigger picture, arranging the setting and characters as I deem fit. I also see the details, holding each idea in my hands like tiny puzzle pieces. When it’s all said and done, I’m usually surprised at how much people like what I write, because by the time I’m finished with it, I’m rather tired of it and numb to anything that could otherwise be shocking. The reader, however, is not, but that is by design. Keep in mind, I’ve probably read the book over twenty times by the time it’s finished.

I know what you mean! I think my friends and family believe that my stories magically flow out of me. I might be a couple weeks into writing a new story and they’ll be like, “You aren’t finished YET? What’s taking so long?” When I finally do finish the story, they seem to think I do nothing more than a quick read over to find any obvious errors before sending it off to the editor for a “check” and then bam…time for publishing! In truth, a lot of time-consuming effort is required to get a book ready for the critical eyes of the public! We read it and read it and read it and tweak it and tweak it and so on until we’re about tired of it already!

Do you think you stir up spirit activity when writing your supernatural thrillers?

Wow. Another good question. I never thought of that, but I suppose it’s possible. Now that you mention it, I starting writing Reunion in 2009 and encountered a very frightening spirit in 2010 and another soon after that. So was that coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not. Either way, if I do stir things up a bit, even if it’s within my own awareness, I’m not afraid because my beliefs regarding eternity promise that “He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world.”

I certainly believe that the more open you are to the spirit realm, the more likely it is that you will encounter a spirit. For example, my wife is very skeptical, and yet when I had my ghostly experience in a cabin we shared with some friends, two of us encountered the ghost on two separate occasions. The next morning we discovered that the cabin registry was filled with accounts of a ghost named “Earl”! Had I but known his name, I could have helped him. My point is, I’m open and I have seen three spirits of some kind; my wife is skeptical and she has not.

Do you fear death?

Heck no!

What do you think happens once you “cross over”?

I believe that there is a heaven and there is a hell. I also believe that both of these realms are vaguely defined in terms of where the line is drawn and exactly where these planes of eternity exist. Therefore, I believe that there is a gray area between the two that can be crossed over and that spiritual entities of all kinds can crossover from one side to the next. In fact, the bible tells us that Satan himself is free enter Heaven to report to God.

With that said, I believe that when we die we get exactly what we always wanted. If you want nothing to do with God, that’s what you get. If you want to live for yourself, that’s what you get, eternity with yourself. If you want to hurt others, that’s what you get forever and ever. If you live a life filled with regrets, that’s what you get when you die, regret. However, if you choose to serve others, if you choose to seek the God of the universe, if you choose to live a life bent on kindness, a life like the original zombie, Jesus, the ultimate ghost, then I believe you will get exactly what you were looking for.

I do not fear death. I actually look forward to it. And I hope that I am so exhausted from trying to live with purpose that that’s what I get, an eternity with purpose. I do not desire to be lost in the gray matter.

I agree with you on the idea that we get what we expect.  But, do we get it for “eternity”?  I just don’t know, but I’m hoping not!  Eternity is an awfully long time and I’d like to believe that we don’t stop learning, whether we are in physical life or in spirit.  It’s all quite a mystery isn’t it?  Our beliefs have a lot of pull in this respect.  Like you, I don’t fear death.  People shouldn’t fear it unless they are living a life they know might create problems for them on the other side.  And if that’s the case, they should change what they are doing!

How much of your beliefs are in your books?

Everything I write stems from what I believe, including plot lines and themes, all bundled up in a whirlwind of creativity that is uniquely mine. I want to write books that rate high on suspense, but do not leave a reader with a sense of shallowness. I want my books to have a depth that readers can relate to without coming across as preachy. But that’s easier to do if you do not put God in a box.

Can you give us some examples of how your beliefs have influenced your writing?

Sure.  As strange as it may seem, my beliefs about eternity have driven me to write supernatural thrillers. The supernatural is frightening and unknown to many, so its very nature stirs fear and creates suspense. But for me, its any easy medium to work with, like a canvas, the paint goes on smooth and easy. Sci-fi or fantasy, however, would feel like working with raw iron, sharp and cumbersome. I could never write in that genre. Besides, like many writers, I write what I see play out in my head, like taking notes from a movie, so I create scenes that I’d love to watch on the big screen.

You like to write horror…why?  Do you like to be scared out of your wits?

Actually, I don’t necessarily like to write horror per se. I think my suspense thrillers are light on horror, and higher on suspense. In fact, I write each chapter with an ending that begs the reader to continue, a tool I incorporated very heavily in Twisted Vengeance.

Certainly the use of the word “horror” is subjective.  Some would put my book in the horror category because it has ghosts in it but I certainly don’t think of it as horror.  Your books contain some horrifying scenes (things we wouldn’t want to happen to us!) but more than that, they are suspenseful (of the edge-of-your-seat variety!) and they do create quite the “thrill” when reading them.  For me anyway, I probably think of your books as”horror” because some scenes in them made me cringe!  In all truth, however, you have blended several genre elements very well (horror, suspense, thriller, mystery) not going overboard with one or the other.  That’s why, though I don’t read “horror” per se, I enjoy your books!

Do you write an outline or does the story just develop?

I write such a messy outline that most people wouldn’t be able to make heads or tails of what’s in my “black book” of ideas.

When a book idea hits me, I jot down the synopsis asap so I don’t forget it. Later when I have time to really think about the general plot, I write short biographies for each character and a brief summary of each chapter. I know I have a full length novel when I can come up with 25 or 30 chapters in the beginning. Those chapters usually sprout roots and grow into a full length novel.

I find it very impressive that you can come up with brief summaries for each chapter before you even write the book!  I’m sure other writers work similarly.  I have no clue what’s going to happen in a chapter or even how many chapters I’m going to have until I sit down to write them.

I love the idea of writing short biographies for each character.  I would probably find my own writing to go smoother if I’d do something like that.  A great tip!  Thanks.

Have you ever been uncomfortable with how a story has developed?

No, but I do have a two book series that I’ve written that I’d be embarrassed to let you read in its current state. But as far as story development goes, I think I have a natural feel for developing story lines that work. The good thing is I spend less time fabricating and more time honing my craft.

A sign of a true writer…where the effort to come up with the story isn’t so much the hard part as honing your craft…making the story better, the sentences stronger, the picture clearer.  It’s a lot of work!!

Have you ever experienced an “epiphany” while writing?  An ‘OMG, where did THAT come from’ moment?

YES! That is where all of my “twists”are born. I have no idea where they come from; they just sneak up on me and freak the sh** out of me. That is the only time I get freaked out. Once I know the twist, I have to make sure I fit in all the details that allow for plausibility.

I can so understand this!  I think when we are in the creative flow, those moments are bound to happen and when they do, we find them as exciting as the reader does!  I had one of those moments at the end of my book and had to go back through the entire thing and make sure it all fit together.  It’s a fascinating process.  I certainly got that “oh wow” moment when I read Twisted Vengeance! It also made me want MORE!

This concludes Part One of this awesome “chat” with Jeff Bennington!  In Part II we get more into a discussion of Jeff’s books and really, if you are a fan of supernatural thrillers, you don’t want to miss the next post!!

Please feel free to comment on the above discussion and ask Jeff anything you like.  I know he would love to hear from you!  Also, if you haven’t already read his books and would like to, here are the links  (the one on the end: The Kindle Book Review is Jeff’s blog, readers and writers alike should take a look!):


Scrooge's third visitor, from Charles Dickens:...

Image via Wikipedia

I write what interests me.  Ghost interest me.  Why I have a fascination for dead people, I don’t know…but I do.  My first encounters with the paranormal scared the crap out of me.  I lived in fear.  Nightmares plagued my dreams.  The best way to conquer fear is knowledge.  It’s often the unknown that scares us.  But I have to say, knowing something is “there” and not being able to see it…that’s pretty freaky too!  I needed to understand hauntings and so I set out to learn what I could about this mysterious phenomena.  There are as many people who don’t believe in ghosts as there are people who do.  I say this…once you’ve encountered one, you believe.  No, you don’t just BELIEVE… you KNOW.

For seven years I lived in a haunted house.  I was pretty scared of the spirits who shared my home although they never hurt us or did anything harmful.  They took things, they played with the lights and other electrical equipment, they opened doors, they moved things, shook our bed, teased our dog, but they didn’t hurt us.  Given that, I’m not sure why I was so terrified of them.  Times have changed.  Now I go looking for them.  Yeah, I’ve done a complete “about face” on the whole thing.

I joined a Spiritualist church a few years ago.  For those that don’t know how Spiritualist services work, the first part is always a healing session, the second part of the service is the inspirational message of the day and the third part is messages from “the other side” as channeled by the visiting medium.  On my first visit to this church, my uncle came through via the medium conducting the messages that week (this very gifted medium also happened to be the church’s pastor and he’s since channeled several other family members from beyond!).  My uncle was described to me so specifically that the medium was either the best psychic ever or he was communicating with my uncle.  It was my uncle.  I KNOW it. The following week, my grandmother came through.  Same scenario.  The visiting medium was too specific about things concerning my grandmother to be “lucky”.  Nana was there.  I KNOW it.

I started experimenting with spirit communication many years ago.  First with a Ouija board, then automatic writing and finally on to channeling.  At first I did wonder if these communications were all coming from my imagination but then things came through that I couldn’t have possibly known.  That got my attention.  Suddenly I’m thinking this was the real deal and not just an interesting exercise.  It’s amazing what can come through from “beyond” when you put your ego aside and let go of your inhibitions.  Yeah, I know, its all hard to believe but that doesn’t mean it’s unbelievable.

I am also very interested in reincarnation and hope to have another book out based on this concept in the late summer.  I became even more interested in this subject when my 2-year old son started talking about when he was a man and asking where his wife was because he missed her!  I posted about this previously.  See: Reincarnation or Freaky Coincidence

I’ve been writing stories since I was old enough to put words together so it is only natural that I write stories that interest me.  Otherwise, I’m not going to write them.  Ghost stories interest me.  Not gory horror but honest to goodness ghosts needing help in some way or another.  Most ghost do, you know…need help.  It makes for great story telling!

I wrote Be Still, My Love because I started doing the “what if” game.  What if a medium suffered a horrible tragedy?  Would she be like “Oh darn, my loved one is in heaven now, guess I’ll have to communicate spiritually” or would she grieve?  Would she get mad and if she did would that anger interfere with her ability to talk to the dead?  How would she deal with it all?  Would she ever love again? Voila, a story is born.  Since I live in Maine, I decided to place the story where I knew best.  Besides, the rocky coast of Maine offers great backdrop to a spooky story!  I read an article a few years ago about a medium who liked to travel to inns and do readings and I thought, what if I had a medium go on vacation to a haunted resort?  The story just grew from there.  I didn’t plan it out, I just started writing and a story evolved.  The title came from a moment in the book where the medium tells her dead husband to “be still” and fret over her no more.  He, in turn, tells her the same thing. I truly wanted the hurt and anger my characters suffered to “be still” and bother them no longer.  In the end, I think I achieved that.  For the most part.

As I was nearing the end of Be Still, I found that my character had more to give.  I didn’t want her story to end.  I was curious to see what she’d do next and so a sequel began to form.  I grew up in Bucksport, Maine and we have a local legend there that our town’s founder Jonathan Buck was cursed by a witch and the proof of it showed up on his gravestone, see A Supernatural Mystery if you are curious about this interesting legend!  I thought to myself “I should have my character go to Bucksport and figure out that curse!”  And she did!  You can find that story in “Hidden Voices” which will be available next month.  I can’t wait to find out what she comes up with next but I’m pretty sure it has something to do with that ghost she met at the tomb!  Bucksport, it seems, is teeming with ghosts.  It’s a great place for a medium!

They say that life imitates art imitating life.  What a circle huh?  If you are going to be an author, you should write books that you love to read.  That’s what I’m doing.  I’m writing books I love to read.  After all, I’m the first reader of my own story.  If I don’t like it, it’s not going to get done and nor should it!  Luckily, I love Be Still, My Love and I love the sequel just as much, if not more.  Probably because I’m becoming pretty fond of my character and her gift.  I hope she stays with me for awhile and tells me more great stories!

So that’s my story.  And I’m sticking to it!  Blessings and Peace Out!


The "cursed" Jonathan Buck Monument

A new mystery is sparked by an old one!  Let me explain.  In December, I published my first book “Be Still, My Love“.  It’s about a medium, grieving over personal loss, who goes on vacation at a haunted resort on the coast of Maine.  Now, before I go into how the mysterious sequel was sparked, I have to lament a bit about my difficulty in properly identifying the book’s niche.  In which genre does it belong?  The story has supernatural elements (ghosts) which are also considered to be paranormal and there’s a romance involved though it’s not a romance book.  There’s also a mystery element to the story because medium Tess Schafer (the book’s heroine) must discover the truth behind the resort’s haunting.  Because of Tess’s special ability, there are occult elements involved because of Tess’s communications with “the dead”: she conducts a seance, she channel’s spirits, “sees” into the past.  Also, a lot of paranormal activity takes place throughout the book.  So, where does this put the book when it comes to genre placement?  These days, Paranormal books are considered something that involves werewolves and vampires (for the most part).  Supernatural books are similar but also include demons and such and are considered “horror”.  The Horror genre used to include eerie or spooky stories that weren’t necessarily horrifying.  Nowadays, thanks to the over-the-top dramas of Hollywood, horror is, well – horrifying.  I don’t consider my story to be horrifying, although it does have some spooky moments.   Given that, I’d call it a spooky mystery but there’s not really a genre for spooky mysteries.  So, there it is.  A dilemma. What do you think?  I really would like to get an answer on that one!

I am now working on a sequel to Be Still.  The story takes place in Bucksport, Maine.  It’s a real town.  It also happens to be my hometown.  There’s a supernatural mystery attached to Bucksport’s founding father Jonathan Buck.  You see…he has the stigma of a tombstone cursed by a vindictive witch! (it’s not really his tombstone but his monument but everyone refers to it as a tombstone so I’m just going to stay with the status quo).  It was Colonel Buck’s sloop that was chartered to carry settlers to newly awarded parcels of land.  One of those parcels (what is now called Bucksport) was awarded to Colonel Buck.  Now, in my research, Colonel Jonathan Buck was often referred to as “a Revolutionary War hero”.  I’ve yet to discover exactly what sort of heroic acts he committed but no matter.  The fact of it is, Jonathan Buck was responsible for the town of Bucksport getting settled and becoming a town.  A few years after he died, his grandchildren commissioned a stone monument in his honor and had it placed a few feet from where he is buried.  Soon after that, the outline of what looked like a booted leg appeared on the stone’s surface just below his name.  Legend has it that the stone was replaced three times and each time the outline appeared.  Family members were also rumored to have tried scrubbing it off but to no avail.  The image remained stubbornly in place.  Stories sprung up…as stories will…and Bucksport’s Witch’s legend was born.  The basic story is that Buck had a local woman condemned to death for practicing witchcraft and on the day of her death she cursed him and his family (even the town was condemned in some of the accounts).  Many stories sprung up, some suggesting that Buck was having an affair with this woman and when she threatened to expose their relationship (he was a married man with many children!), he had her proclaimed a witch and condemned to death.  Macabre storytellers made up even more bizarre stories to explain the “witch’s foot”.   I won’t mention them here for they don’t have much merit to their claims.   Besides, they are easy enough to Google!

Who knows why the image is on the monument.  It could be purely coincidental.  Scientific explanation is that it’s simply a flaw in the stone.  Whatever.  I don’t believe in coincidence.  There’s a reason for everything.  I’ve pondered over the mystery of that famous “tombstone” for most of my life.  I wonder.  I wonder.  Because my book “Be Still” took place on coastal Maine in an area not far from Bucksport’s location and because such a mystery would interest a person like Tess, I decided to include the bizarre tale in my own story.  An idea germinated from that.  What if I have Tess go to Bucksport and check out that tombstone?  I wonder what she’ll dig up? (no pun intended)  The world works in mysterious ways.  Maybe I’ll figure out what those markings (there’s also the distinct shape of a heart on the monument’s stone surface) really mean.  Maybe I’ll channel something through during the writing of the book!

I don’t plan out my stories.  I get an idea and then I start typing.  The story develops from there.  I honestly don’t have a clue what’s going to happen until I type it.  Already an interesting development has occurred!  I’m quite eager to get this story out.  And then I’ll be eager to share it!!  So, it seems I shall begin 2012 with some sort of supernatural mystery.  I love this process…the things that spring up during writing.  I even had Tess make discoveries in a similar fashion in “Be Still”.  She was inspired to write a story and by doing so, she learned a lot about Sea Willow’s secrets.  Maybe I’ll do the same thing and discover something about Bucksport’s cursed tombstone as I write about Tess’s adventure there.

Will keep you all updated on things as they develop!  Until then, many blessings to all and Peace Out!


In my previous blog posts, I’ve shared events that occurred in a haunted house I lived in during my childhood.  It was my experiences in that house that inspired me to learn all I could about the supernatural and other phenomena.  Since I started writing stories around the age of eight, it was only natural that they included the things I was learning about and experiencing first hand.  Writers typically write what they know or what interests them.  What interests me are ghosts, spirit communication, the afterlife, reincarnation and all manner of things typically lumped under the title of “New Age“.  Although, if you think about it…New Age doesn’t seem an apt category name for most of the subjects filed under it.  Those ideas and concepts and practices have actually been around for hundreds of years.  There’s nothing “new” about them, but whatever.  We must pick our battles carefully and this one I’m going to leave alone.  For now.

My previous posts were the scarier events that happened.  This one is more of a bafflement … a curious occurrence that amazes me to this day.

Once we (my family and I) concluded that our house was haunted, we started looking at everything that happened there with new eyes.  No longer were we shrugging things off and thinking “how strange”.  And once my dad (the most stubborn and unbelieving of all) began to accept the idea, then things became a little more peaceful between us.  As I was the oldest child, I was often the last one to turn in for the night and so was blamed for the fact that my dad would get up in the morning and find the outside doors open and all the lights on.  I got the same old lecture every time, “Were you born in a barn? No.  So why are you leaving the doors open and the lights on?  You want to pay the heating and electric bills?”

I tell you, the day my dad sat me down and apologized for all the times he accused me of leaving doors open and lights on, well, that was a great day indeed!  The weeks that led up to that momentous day were filled with tension for the two of us because those two things were becoming a regular occurrence.  He accused, I denied and we both got angrier and angrier at each other!  Truly, it was putting quite a strain on our relationship.  But then one glorious morning, my dad found all the doors open and all the lights on and HE was the last to go to bed (I was being punished at this point and no longer allowed to stay up later than anyone else).  It also happened a couple times when I wasn’t home but staying elsewhere (I spent a lot of nights with my grandparents).  Finally he believed me and apologized for not doing so in the first place.  Thank God.

Now, just because my dad accepted that it wasn’t me opening doors and turning on lights, it did not mean my dad accepted the idea that ghosts could be doing those things.  His explanation?  Well, we had a “crazy old house” with serious wiring and “settling” issues.  Settling issues?  That might cause a strange sound now and then but opening doors?

It wasn’t just lights and doors that we had issues with.  We also had the problem of items coming up missing.  Now, we all forget where we put things on occasion and I would venture to say that more often than not, the item is usually found after a furious and annoying search.  But, many things that went missing at that spooky old farmhouse were never found.  One of those items being the first book I ever wrote!  Granted, I was only about twelve when I wrote it and it was probably not destined for greatness, but I was pretty proud of it.  Tools, pictures, toys, spices, books … these are just some of the items that simply vanished into the vortex of the unknown.

One vanishing act in particular really stood out and I must tell the story now. It’s one of my favorite mysteries attached to that house and usually one of the first I like to tell when people say, “You lived in a haunted house? Tell me some stories!”.

My parents went on a week long vacation to Florida one winter and the five of us kids were doled out among friends and family.  The person I went to stay with, Beth, owned several cats so she wouldn’t let me bring my pet parakeet with me.  I was very upset about leaving the poor bird in that cold, scary old house but my parents assured me it would be fine.  My grandfather promised to stop by the house to check on him so I had to be content with that.  A couple days go by and I get a phone call from my grandfather.  He says my bird is gone, cage and all.  I figured he just wasn’t looking in the right place so Beth and I head over there to check it out.  Not only was the cage gone but also the stand that it hung from.  We searched the entire house and that bird was not to be found.  Beth and my grandfather assured me that my parents must have found someone to take it.  My gut feeling was telling me otherwise but I hoped they were right.

The week passes and my parents return.  When my mom calls Beth to let her know she can bring me home, Beth asks her what she did with my bird.  My mother’s reply?  “I didn’t do anything with the bird.  Why?”  Beth tells her that it’s missing and my mom says, “It’s not missing.  I’m looking at it right now. It’s right where we always keep it.”  Beth informs her that it hasn’t been in the house all week and my mom doesn’t believe her.  Baffled by this turn of events, Beth and I head over to the house.  My bird is there in the corner of the living room, sitting in a nice clean cage.  There are no seeds on the floor around it (he was very messy).  His water dish is full and clean (he often dirtied it with seeds and feathers), his food dish is full.  Beth looks at my mother.  “You brought him home from somewhere.”  My mom denies the accusation and insists that he was there when they got home.  She also denies cleaning his cage and filling his dishes.  I call my grandfather.  He is our witness and Mom won’t lie to him.  When my grandfather arrived, we all got into a bit of an argument as we (Beth, my grandfather and I) were so sure that my parents were messing with us.  My parents were equally sure that we were messing with them.  It took some convincing on all sides but we finally accepted that we were all telling the truth.  It’s a baffling mystery to this day.

I have to add a quick note here on the eventual fate of that parakeet.  It was a few months after that incident that I started having dreams about events that would then happen exactly as I dreamed them the following day.  One night I dreamed that my bird flew over my head and out the door and so the following day, I left him alone.  I was determined that that dream would not come true.  As the day wore on and my bird remained safe in his cage, I figured it was okay to play with him as long as I was careful.  I was trying to get him to trust me enough to sit on my finger and after I finally managed to do this, I put him back on his perch and closed the door.  Just as I reached the front door, I felt something flutter above my head and I looked up.  My parakeet flew out the door and out of my life.

The parakeet’s disappearing act is quite a remarkable and curious story.  Not scary at all.  Looking back on it, I now realize that most of the things that happened in that house were more of a nuisance than anything.  What made it all so scary was the idea that dead people were causing them.  And towards the end of our time there, they got more and more active.

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